Escape from Cabin Fever!

Farm, Antietam NBP, Sharpsburg, Maryland, March 7, 2011

It looks like I may have gotten out of the apartment now and then, to judge by the content of the magneto virtual persistent photo album spinning in the big box beside my monitor.


On today’s plate: “assistant producer” (volunteer) on what will be the first of what I hope will become many video history interviews for the local synagogue, which is fast approaching the anniversary of its 120th year in town. At the moment, we’re short on digital content, but there’s an old guard worth visiting plus scrapbooks and other such laying.  It’s hard to tell from here, but we might come up with a short loop.

I’m worried about the underscore.


I thought photography — shooting weddings — would prove the more practical art (vs. episodic adventures in creative writing and music).  What it has proven, perhaps, is that it has been the more expensive of the options and also, because of our digital-everything lifestyles, the more temperament-altering: even at the turn of the 21st Century, I could never have imagined being indoors as the primary base for “doing photography.”

If you’re a reader, you know that has to do with a page, a room, and solitude.  When the weather’s nice, maybe the book or e-reader and thee will get in some quality outdoor time on a chaise lounge or hammock.


Studio art with an informing lifestyle or life experience — the object is in the head channeled by the ears and the old tools want the body (and voice for those who have one) and where is irrelevant except for social variables: the new tools want an acoustically controlled environment and an editing suite.

One might adventure out for inspiration, but whether bound for a composer’s desktop or a performer’s stage, close a door and get to work seems about right for the life in music.


I have the “keyboard controller”, but it stays in its case: I need more rooms, more workbench, additional computing power or stations (or greater tiered shelving and wrap-around table surface), and an update for “Cakewalk”, and probably a detached house for recording live sound as well as programmed (and a garage with a “mud room” for keeping PA gear ready to roll in the gig=ready SUV . . . oh, yeah, one of those would be nice too).

Alternative: search the web for royalty-free ethnic sound.

So back to the hobby that became an avocation and that I’ve been treating as a profession (while it has been treating my wallet like a bottomless well).


Photography divides into “Constructed” and “Response” modes: i.e., one either imports into a space what one will record (making filmmaking generally “constructed”) or one makes one’s self part of an environment, from battle to baguettes, in which one finds visual interest in extant events, persons, or objects.  Of the creative trifecta, I placed photography last, more truly “the hobby”, most truly the get-out-of-the-house-and-shoot-something! solution to too much reading complemented by 19th Century writerly ambitions and distracted by a quite genuine and now long confirmed musical talent.

Do you want to hear God laugh?

Make plans.

So here we are — here am I — in the northern temperate latitudes fast approaching the end of “snow season” (remember: “Ice or snow, Pony don’t go”), and the hours and days spent in solitude indoors have formed a kind of nightmare in which bills have been set aside, books lay open and scattered across the bed, computer parts, business cards, receipts of all kinds, open files and closed, junk mail and papers that need to be filed roll across the dining room table, a newly formed, also slowly formed, tsunami of clutter.

It’s amazing how little one may get done with too much time on one’s hands.

How it happens: bad weather, insufficient funds for hanging out just to be out, a wealth of books, a stocked bar, a full refrigerator: one sleeps late, gets involved with stuff, good and bad, at a computer: look ye there: it’s the blue hour again: grab a snack, check out Facebook, work with pretty pictures; read: do it again: two days: three days: phone chat; maybe: errands; maybe: lunch out; no big deal: tour the grocery aisle . . . .

Really, it’s time to step away from the computer, clean up around the joint, get those bills payed, get the tax data thing done, re-box what I don’t have to deal with (!), and get out! Out! Out!

Mustang 2000, Antrim Township, Pennsylvania, May 25, 2011


This entry was posted in Aesthetics, Journal. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Escape from Cabin Fever!

  1. Great writing Jimbo. I have two ideas for a book but I’m not the writer and the pro with words that you are. Maybe we should talk more about this. Have a great day my friend,.

    • commart says:

      Stay tuned for the next shot, Greg. I think you’ll love it! Also . . . I need to return your mouse / squirrel repelling device. Will do. Soon.

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